Relationships are hard enough to maintain without being a chip-fritzing super secret agent. On this week’s My Own Worst Enemy, things get even more complicated for our favorite dual-personality spy.
Edward leaves Dr. Skinner in a bathtub as he goes to pick up Ruthie to take her to soccer practice on Henry’s behalf. Stuck in a bit of traffic, Henry emerges and, once he does, he sees his wife walking down the street. Calling her, he asks where Angie is and she says she’s visiting the dentist in Brentwood. Hmmm…suspicious. Arriving at home, Ruthie scrambles to cover something up on the couch when Henry walks in. She’s taken a box of Angie’s stuff and was looking through them. Inside the box were pictures of them through college he’d never seen before along with some other baubles. Gathering the stuff together to put it away, Henry accidentally spills some of the contents of a perfume bottle on a picture. Little characters begin to emerge on them. Telling Ruthie to go to the car, he pours more liquid on the pic and more little dottie bits appear. Even more suspicious.
Back from soccer practice later, Angie tries to teach Jack how to cook a fancy dish for dinner to prepare for college. Normal conversation between the family occurs but Henry’s too distracted by the suspicious goings on with Angie. Visiting Dr. Skinner, Henry expresses his concerns about losing Angie and asks if she’s a spy. He later recants, saying he’s just paranoid but that was just a cover because he gets a book about breaking secret codes and hides the picture in it. The only way to know if Angie’s an agent is to find the hidden message. And, for a bit of insurance, he hides the book under the cover of a sappy father/daughter book. Tom shows up and updates Henry on things with Mary – Tom’s still sleeping on the couch. Tom asks if he could ever trust Angie in a similar situation but no answer now. Janus needs them.
Downstairs, Mavis fills them in on their next mission. They are to protect Serik Shefer, a man running for president in Kazakhstan. Edward appears in the middle of the briefing and is told to move Shefer to a safe house before the current leader, General Chelnikov, gets trigger happy. There’s three days until the election. Meeting at the rendezvous point, they find several guards dead and hear a woman in trouble. It’s Mariam, Serik’s wife. Raymond and Henry shoot the two men holding her. Asking what happened, she tells them she doesn’t remember much. Raymond receives intelligence that Serik is being held at a countryside estate and that he’s released a letter conceding the election. Mariam tells them it wasn’t Chelnikov who kidnapped Serik, it was the KGB. They don’t want to make him a matyr before the election but will kill him in three days. How does she know? Because she’s KGB too.
Bringing her back to the states, Mariam is in the white interrogation room. She’d been undercover for 16 years – she’s both an agent and a wife. They don’t know if they can trust her but Mavis believes her at least a little bit. Henry emerges during all this and talks to Tony the Tech after being filled in on the situation. Ranting about how every day in Mariam’s relationship had been a lie, Tony just says it’s "the world we live in." He then gives Henry all the info on Mariam…but Henry asks for a favor before he leaves.
That favor is to borrow a high-tech phone tapping device which Henry is hooking up to his computer at home. As he’s wrapping up, Ruthie comes in asking about soul mates, how he and Angie met, and about Sarah. Sarah, Angie’s roommate whom he’d dated, died in a car accident. Being there for each other in their grief made he and Angie come together. Henry scoots Ruthie out of the room just in time to overhear a conversation between Angie and an anonymous man who asks to meet her. Henry goes to the meeting place and sees Angie meeting some dude who hands her a package. Triple suspiciousness!
Mariam’s commanding officer is Yuri Volkolov, one of his agents apparently killed Edward’s parents. Mariam promises to tell Edward what really happened if he helps her rescue Serik. Cut to a train in Russia where they are en route to meeting one of her informants. Mariam muses that when the KGB killed his parents, it gave Edward someone to hate which can be important in the spy game. She asks if he ever wonders how his life would be without that fuel. Henry, of course, says no.
Later at one of the train stops, they meet up with her informant, Mariam using Edward as "payment." After getting the info, Mariam kills the man. She says he was lying but he normally keeps his secrets on him. Three men with guns appear and open fire while she’s finding the disk or chip or whatever. Of course this is when Henry begins to emerge. Edward takes out two guys as he’s transitioning but Henry is there before the last one can be dealt with. The dude pulls a knife and they struggle on the floor but Mariam kills him before anything bad can happen.
Henry calls Raymond in a panic, saying Edward’s gone rogue but Ray’s on the train and the operation was approved by Mavis. Raymond tells him to chill out so his cover isn’t blown. Later in his compartment, Henry is working on breaking the code from the picture when Mariam appears. His phone keeps ringing but he ignores it. She asks who’s trying to call him and he tells her it’s his wife and that she’s the only person he thought he could trust completely. She says that all relationships are built on lies here and there, hers is no different. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t really love Serik. She urges Henry to talk to his wife.
He goes into the hallway and calls Angie back. She tearfully confesses that Michael, who she dated for a couple months back in college, asked her to lunch a few weeks ago. She didn’t think much about it but he apparently thought it was something more. She tells Henry about the necklace he gave her, which she took because she didn’t know what else to do. He tells her it’s going to be okay and the he loves her. Going back into the cabin with a renewed sense of security, he notices his stuff is rearranged. Henry finds a note that says "I solved your code. This doesn’t means she’s not in LOVE with you." The code in question reads "Made contact with Spivey. He thinks relationship is real. Codename: Celandine." So much for that renewed sense of fuzzy relationship warmth.
Henry goes four cars down and shouts for Raymond, who pulls him into his cabin angrily. Henry starts ranting about how he’s through with everything. When Raymond tries to talk him down a bit but Henry just snaps that Ray just follows orders and probably doesn’t really care about anything. Leaving in a huff, Henry steps outside between cars and leaves a ranting message for Edward about Janus placing Angie and whether they killed Sarah and the fact that he really does loves her. Edward emerges at this point just in time for Mariam to pop her head out of the door and tell him that it’s time.
Their target is Nikolai Yelnikov, a billionaire philanthropist who’s really a director of the KGB. He’s throwing a charity ball and they must convince him to give them access to the underground tunnels that lead to Serik. And by "convince" I mean lure him away from everyone, knock him out, and scan his eyes to trick the secure doors into opening. They find Serik quickly, taking two guards out on the way. On the way out they meet up with Raymond but are quickly surrounded. Edward struggles but manages to open an alternate door. Mariam kisses Serik and tells him she loves him before Edward and Raymond pull him out the door as Mariam lays down suppression fire. The door slides closed as Mariam is killed, right before Serik’s eyes. He shouts at the door in horror.
While walking into the office, there’s a news broadcast on TV about Serik getting sworn in and how the transition of power has been peaceful. Edward scoffs a bit as he stalks through the hallway and barges into Dr. Skinner’s office. He tells her that when he signed up for the job he was told he’d never have a real relationship. That’s what Henry is for – to get all that so Edward wouldn’t need it. But, Edward says, he’s willing to make things more complicated. He kisses her but Henry pops up so they can’t discuss things further. Skinner recovers fairly well and tells Henry that she’d called to get in touch with him, but got Edward instead. She’d been thinking about their prior conversation and tells him that Janus keeps files on all of their agents. If he finds an unmarked door and uses the access card she gives him, he’ll find a secure computer that will tell him all the info he needs to know.
Skinner further explains that her codename was Celadine but her real name was Sarah. She was there to start a relationship with Henry but she really did die in a car accident. Angie was who Henry picked, their love was not planned by the company.
Henry comes home, relieved, and finds Angie sitting there. She tells him that she couldn’t figure out why she didn’t talk to him about reconnecting with Michael. She says she appreciated the attention since she felt they stopped noticing each other. But that all changed about a month ago…when Edward started sexing her up. Angie felt like they were just starting their relationship again. That doesn’t sit well with Henry at first but, well, at least it helped in the long run. He leaves a message for Edward to thank him for inadvertently helping out his marriage. He adds that he must take more responsibility for his own life instead of blaming the company all the time. Transition to Edward watching the rest of the message. Henry found an envelope addressed to Edward, which he didn’t open out of respect for his privacy. He thinks it’s about Edward’s parents. Pausing the message, Edward picks up the envelope – it’s from Mariam and it says "I always hold up my end of the bargain" on the back.
Assorted Bits & Pieces:
- They resolved the Angie: Spy/Not A Spy issue neatly. But I wonder if it’s a little too neat. Yeah, Angie kept some of Sarah’s stuff in the same box but I doubt that secret messages just rub off on other pictures. It could just as easily have been the other way around – Sarah was the civilian and Angie is the sleeper agent. Janus could have set up a fake file for Henry to find. Honestly, it could go either way but I wouldn’t be surprised if Angie had a deadlier persona floating about in her head.
- So Edward’s parents were killed by the KGB. That an interesting twist. While I don’t necessarily think it was a set up by Janus, I’m sure they knew about that particular bit of history. They must’ve been targeting Edward for the program for a long time.
- I’m also a bit surprised by Edward willing to try having a real relationship with Dr. Skinner. But everyone needs love. If Henry ever emerges during one of their…tender moments, he will flip out in a big way.
- In every written message from Mariam that was shown, I don’t recall seeing a single period or comma. Apparently spies don’t use punctuations.
- It’s a shame that NBC pulled the plug on the show. It’s one of the few series that I can’t exactly guess what’s going to happen from week to week. The only problem I had was Henry’s stubborn stupidity which he seems to be letting go of already.
Your thoughts on this week’s episode? Was the spy storyline and Henry’s domestic crisis too connected for your liking? What do you make of Angie? Is Dr. Skinner’s explanation for real?